Like many people, I have a love-hate relationship with garlic: love eating it, hate peeling it. Right up there with shredding cheese and cutting onions, it's one of the most tedious kitchen tasks (and one that somehow, as the middle child, I always got stuck with growing up).
To use one of my grandmother's favorite sayings, sometimes the juice just isn't worth the squeeze. Or in this case, the garlic isn't worth what feels like hours of picking minuscule pieces of skin off of a clove... and then repeating that painstaking process again. And again. And again.
It's a serious struggle—and one that may have just been solved in a viral tweet. "As someone who makes a lot of Korean food, this is the best method for getting garlic peeled!" user @VPestilenZ tweeted on June 16.
The video, which already has nearly 16 million views so far on Twitter, shows her sticking the tip of a knife into each clove on a head of fresh garlic. Then, with a quick flick, she pulls the clove off the head, effortlessly removing it from its skin as she does so.
People are mesmerized by the game-changing hack. Even cookbook author and former supermodel Chrissy Teigen chimed in on the conversation with a shocked, "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT."
Our Kitchen & Cooking Editor Cassidy Olsen had a similar reaction to Teigen, saying, "I am truly, deeply shocked by this garlic hack. I am by no means an expert chef, and I rarely cook to feed a crowd, so I've never had to quickly peel entire heads of garlic like that—I trust the cooks who have been doing that for ages with their expertise!"
However, there were a few naysayers who claimed the trick didn't work for them and, added to the fact that it seemed too good to be true, I was a little skeptical. So I decided to try it for myself.
Does the hack actually work?
Yes—but with one caveat. The type of knife you use matters. I first attempted the hack with a super thin, super sharp paring knife and ended up just splitting the clove in half. Oops. So then, following the advice in the Twitter thread that suggested a duller, thicker knife, I switched to a plain old butter knife. The result? A perfectly peeled clove!
Another thing I learned: Make sure you peel the outer skin off the head of garlic first. Otherwise, the cloves won't budge at all. (This may be obvious to more experienced cooks but, as a total amateur, I definitely tried to remove the cloves without peeling the outer casing off first and it was one big fail.)
And if you aren't sold on this hack—or if you can't seem to get it to work with you—Olsen has another solution that's easier than peeling each clove one by one. "The 'right' way is to break into the bottom of the head with your fingers or a knife, and use the flat end of your knife to mash open the inner cloves against a cutting board," she explains. "The skins will easily fall away and leave you with a clean and slightly flattened clove, which makes further dicing, slicing, or frying a breeze."
I'll, however, be sticking with my new Twitter-learned skill. After all, anything that means I get to eat more garlic bread (with less effort) is a win in my book.